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While reading the newspaper today I encountered a fascinating story. Scientists in England discovered the first known creature to develop a machine like gear, a mechanism never before observed in nature. The small insect's legs include four pinions (one on each leg) which are interlocked to enable him to synchronize his jumps in perfect alignment in order to exert fantastic propulsion. 

This is all explained in the short video below.. 

So, how is all of this related to woodworking?  It all has to do with the Stanley 113 Compass plane. This plane uses the same mechanism to synchronize the flexing of its sole to achieve perfect curvatures. Stanley stopped making this plane decades ago and passed the butane to the German company, Kuntz who makes a decent clone of it.  I heard that Tom Lie Nielson is working on his own version of the 113.  Let's cross our fingers for that…

 Read more about the Stanley 113 plane here: 


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